Image credit: Project Team

In this project we plan to integrate data driven research along with citizen science initiatives to study the effects of urbanization and climate change. We will focus on birds and butterflies, with the aim of predicting the vulnerability of these charismatic species to the effects of climate change and urbanization.

Climate change and rapid urbanization threaten biodiversity worldwide. However, in some cases urban farms, gardens and parks provide refugia for biodiversity and help it to thrive in the cities.  Most of the information on biodiversity loss comes from the temperate countries and forest landscapes. How urbanization and climate change affect biodiversity in the tropics is still lacking. Studying the impacts and creating awareness through outreach materials such as popular science articles or illustrated handouts, about the impacts of urbanization and climate change on biodiversity is therefore important in the Anthropocene. Both urbanization and climate change force species to change their behaviours and expand or contract their ranges to adapt to the changing environment. To design management plans to conserve the urban biodiversity it is important to know which species will thrive, barely survive or completely get wiped out in such changing conditions, and attributes of those species. Tropical cities, including Bengaluru are rich in biodiversity especially birds, small mammals and insects. In the context of Bengaluru: the integration of biodiversity in sustainable urban development requires fostering transdisciplinary and creative linkages between urban ecology, awareness about the biodiversity, direct and indirect underpinning of urban biodiversity conservation with ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, hydrologic services and micro-climatic regulation services for heat-island and global warming heat stress and citizen science.

We plan to work in the educational campuses, which are carbon sinks, biodiversity hotspots and wildlife refuges, to study the persistence of wildlife with respect to campus management and environmental drivers and come up with management solutions for the rest of the city. These campuses will include India’s and possibly the global South’s first long-term urban ecological observatory (LTUEO) being developed by IIHS in Bengaluru as well as large campuses such as the GKVK and IISC. We also plan to create awareness, engagement and sense of belonging to nature through popular science articles, nature walks, art and social media as part of this project.

By Ravi Jambhekar, Jagdish Krishnaswamy (Indian Institute for Human Settlements) and Saskya Van Nouhuys (Indian Institute of Science)

Project Start Date:
April 2023

Ravi Jambhekar:
Jagdish Krishnaswamy:
Saskya Von Nouhuys:

Social Media handles:
Instagram: @ravibutterfly

Twitter: @RaviJambhekar